Franklin Graham: Is the Handwriting on the Wall for America?
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When we began our Decision America Tour on a bitterly cold January day in Des Moines, Iowa, I didn’t know exactly what to expect as we kicked off a nine-month tour of all 50 state capitals.
I wasn’t sure how many people would be able to come to an outdoor prayer rally in the middle of the workday. I wondered how the call to pray, vote and engage in the political process would be received across the nation.
Four months and 19 states later, I’ve been amazed at how the Holy Spirit is working and moving.
At every stop, thousands upon thousands have turned out at midday to stand for an hour and call on God to heal our nation. In spitting snow, shivering cold and intense heat, people have stood shoulder to shoulder on Capitol grounds and steps to worship God, confess their sins and intercede for America.
In Nevada, we had the largest crowd ever assembled at the Capitol grounds in Carson City. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the crowd began spontaneously singing hymns a half-hour before the event. In Sacramento, a group of LGBT protesters had called for a meeting at the Capitol, only a short distance away from where our rally was to be held.
When I heard about their plans, I thought about how God shut the mouths of the lions when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. I prayed that the Lord would quiet the mouths of the protesters as we came together to pray.
Their event was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., and our rally did not start until noon. However, thousands of people assembled hours beforehand for Decision America, so we didn’t hear a thing from the protesters. Despite their very public call for people to join them, only about 100 gay activists came. Our rally drew nearly 8,000 people.
One extraordinary result of our tour across the nation has been the large number of people who have come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through March, 2,021 people had indicated their decisions to follow Christ via text message. They come to Decision America because they are angry or dissatisfied with the way things are going in our country. Then they hear the gospel preached, they fall under conviction, repent of their sins and turn to Christ. Praise God!
There is no doubt that the tens of thousands who have attended know that America is in deep trouble and on the verge of total moral and spiritual collapse—unless God intervenes.
Like me, they have no hope in either the Democratic or Republican party. They know our only hope is in Almighty God. Unless we repent and turn quickly to Him for forgiveness and restoration, our nation will no longer be the city on the hill that has helped bring the illuminating light of biblical truth to the world.
Never before have I seen such a sharp rift in the moral and spiritual fabric of our country. The cross of Christ has become the deep divide between a growing segment of our population that no longer fears God and those who follow Christ as Lord and Savior.
In this secular age, the influence of biblical principles and values has diminishing impact on education, government and politics. More young people than ever before claim no religious affiliation at all. We Christians are not just simply tolerated—we are under constant, unrelenting assault for our beliefs and practices.
The cross of Christ is the dividing line between the righteous and the unrighteous, between the deceitfully dark powers of evil and the liberating light of the gospel, between the virtues of godly living and the unfettered lusts of corrupt, debased passions. The wisdom and power of the cross appears as more and more foolishness to those who suppress the truth and rebel against its claims.
Not long before Daniel was cast into the lion’s den by the Persian King Darius, he was called into the presence of the last Babylonian king, Belshazzar, after the king witnessed the fingers of a human hand writing on the wall in his palace. This sudden, divine event occurred as the king and his court were reveling in debauchery and idolatry, drinking wine from the golden vessels that had been carried away by the Babylonians from the Jerusalem temple.
As the king saw a hand writing on the wall of plaster, he instantly was alarmed and frightened. Daniel interpreted the meaning of the strange inscription Belshazzar had seen, telling him that his kingdom was about to come to an end, that he had been weighed in God’s divine balance and found wanting, and that his vast kingdom would be handed over to a new world power, the Medes and Persians.
That very night, Belshazzar was killed, and the Medes and Persians entered Babylon.
I wonder if the handwriting is now on the wall for America. Has God decided that our idolatry, immorality and godlessness have become such a stench in His nostrils that we as a people will experience a harsh form of divine judgment? Have our iniquities grown so foul and vast that we will reap the bitter harvest of our wickedness and rebellion against Almighty God?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I do believe that God is able to restore and heal us if we repent of our sins—personal and corporate—and turn to Him in humility and reverence. The Bible tells us that the Lord is patient toward us, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
We are a people and nation in imminent danger. We mock God, ridicule His Word and His ways, and flaunt gross immorality.
Only Almighty God can deliver us, and it is our fervent prayer as we go across America in the months to come, that He will hear our prayers and heal our land.